Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale
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very good

2,501 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,501
Reviews: 987
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 132
Gots: 312 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cbl2 on 09-17-2005

We set out to make a bold monument for The King of the Pumpkins!
This 8.0% ABV pumpkin ale is the mother of all pumpkin ales. It is heartier, spicier and more “caramelly” and “pumpkiny” than its faint brethren! We have added lots of pumpkin along with cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of cardamom and clove, giving this beer a spicy, full-bodied flavor.

This truly is an Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Perfect finisher on a cool autumn night or match it up with a slice of pumpkin pie and fresh whipped cream.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,501 | Reviews: 987
Reviews by CharlieMopps:
Photo of CharlieMopps
3.22/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour displays a color that is rather hard to define: a dark amber/ruby hue that has a burnt orange quality as well. The bubbly, off-white head dissipates at a constant rate for a couple minutes, then leaves next to nothing when it's finished.

S: Quite aromatic, with a healthy dose of nutmeg and cinnamon that are easily detected, but also a strong pumpkin element that smells rather raw, yet it all seems to keep a light character.

T: Rather sweet, with mostly a cinnamon spice dominating the flavor, but the pumpkin is definitely in there. Toward the finish, there is a bit of hop bitterness for balance, and a warming alcohol sensation. Aftertaste is somewhat drying and slightly cloying from the spice.

M: Very light-bodied, with minimal carbonation in the taste, but a bubbly kick toward the finish. Mostly a light, watery texture.

D: I'm not sure what it is about these pumpkin beers, including an 'imperial' one no less, but I feel this one can only go so far. Pumpkin ales seem to require a balancing act that's quite difficult to perfect. Granted, the balance of spice is tasty, and I can always appreciate a seasonal offering that requires extra effort, but I'm not completely sold on this one.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Its getting to be that time of year again,I am not a fan of pumpkin pie but I enjoy the fall pumpkin brews.This poured a clear rich amber/copper with a tight formed slight off white 1/2 finger head that held some good retention,pumpkin pie spice mainly in the nose cardimom and mace with big nutmeg notes,that spice to me is just to big flavor wise the pumpkin flavors as light as they are are just overwhelmed by spices nutmeg and mace mainly with notes of cinnamon and clove as well.The point is the spice flavor are just a little to big for this beer everything else...the nose and appearance are top notch,damn its so close to being great.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Weyerbacher Iperial Pumkin Ale. 8% alcohol.

A- Pours a bright amber orange color with lightly active off white head that falls to absoluly nothing. Leaves no lacing that I can see.

S- Very rubust smells of cinnamon and cloves dominate the nose. Small hints of nutmeg and cardamom are there as well. Smells like fresh pumpkin pie.

T-M- Taste is sweet with heavy doses of fresh pumpkin peels. Nutmeg and clove spices are the second to notice. Flavorfull with complexities that fuse to make a very enjoyable beer. Ale is in the backbone with malty mouthfeel. Smooth and dry on the tongue.

D- Drinkable but not to much at one time. Leaves a pleasent taste in the mouth.

Photo of ROBORB
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite pumpkin beers. It pours amber with a very thin head. There is little to no lacing. It smells of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. The is easy on the palate and masks the alcohol very well. I feel that it is much better on draught but is still solid from the bottle. I would recommend this to anyone that wants to try a pumpkin beer.

Photo of PremiumPete83
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a very dark amber reddish brown color with a nice head that disappears pretty quickly.

Smell - Pumpkin is pretty pronounced. Slight smell of nutmeg and cinnamon behind the pumpkin smell.

Taste - Dry hoppy taste up front turns into a dry doughy middle with slight carmel overtones. The end finishes with the taste of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg overshadowed by the taste of pumpkin.

Mouthfeel - Light body.

Drinkability - For an imperial pumpkin ale weighing in at 8%, it's pretty damn drinkable! The taste is OK, though. I'd drink this one again, but If I had a choice I'd have to pick other pumpkin offerings over this one.

3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a solid example of a pumpkin ale. The flavors and spices are well balanced. It is very drinkable considering the ABV. I am left thinking this beer is missing something, but not sure what. Until I figure that out, I will enjoy this seasonal beauty. I recommend you do the same. Cheers.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a SA pint glass. Nice looking beer: dark amber, thick tan head. The aroma was all spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe a little clove. I think the spice dominated the taste, and really couldn't tell there was pumpkin in it. It felt warm in my mouth, and for this style of beer was pretty good.

Photo of marvin213
2.78/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

With almost no head to speak of, this beverage is more mud-brown than pumpkin-orange. Hardly translucent, it's more like a real brown ale--does the darkness indicate imperialism? The relatively dark tinge on an 8% imperial makes me uneasy.

The most pronounced aroma is nutmeg. The cloves are there as well. Even the cardamom reveals its presence in the nose. Maybe it's the influx of these powerful spices that provoked such worry from the look. I'm not sure how this will manifest in taste, but the spice basket smells like, well, a spice basket.

Perhaps this one's imperialism relates more to its fancy assembly of spices than the ethanol it offers. It tastes strong as in spicy, and literally spicy as opposed to more commonly spicy hot. It's imperial because you can envision sailors commissioned by royalty traveling proudly to return the spices that compose this beer. It's incredibly unique, but it's the most uncomfortably close I've come to eating a potpourri bag. Now, as I smell before I taste, I'm almost fearful. The beer is thick and indeed powerful, but more like syrup than adult beverage. There's little balance to the spiciness that is this pumpkin beer.

The mouthfeel is like sensory overload. Trying to feel all that you smell is taxing. It leaves my cheeks worn out. Halfway through my 12oz pour, finishing seems a daunting task. Though "awful" would be an unfair label, this serving may prove too much.

Photo of medic361
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This nice pumpkin ale poured reddish amber with a nice head. The lacing was adequate and had a pleasant malty taste. The spices were spot on and a hint of pumpkin and vanilla topped it off. It was like drinking a pumpkin pie without the overly sweet flavor!

Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle without a freshness date.

Good foaming off of this beer, good retention as well. Dark reddish amber color shows some loose sediment from a careful pour from the bottle. Sharp spicing, mellow gord meat and a caramel maltiness in the nose. Strong ale flavor, the 8% abv is not pushy but it shows. Spicing jumps from spicy sharp to herbal nutty, clove pokes through in the beginning and the nutmeg cleans up in the end. Big caramel maltiness is balance by the alcohol and spice. Finishes with an alcoholic bite and a hint of cooked pumpkin.

Very tasty, very interesting. While I love a solid pumpkin ale imperial versions like this one actually seem more drinkable to me which could be a dangerous thing. ;-)

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a clear, burnished copper body with some orange highlights. Medium sized tan head is thick and creamy, and leaves plenty of patchy lace.

Aroma is mostly pie spices, heavy on the nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and clove.

Medium body has a slightly redtrained carbonation that is full and creamy.

Taste also serves up a huge dose of pumpkin pie spices. Nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon again. Bready maltiness here, as well, with some melted caramel character. Some genuine pumpkin taste is found underneath. Maybe a hint of the enhanced abv is noticed, but the alcohol doesn't distract.

An excellent pumpkin ale! Still, the spices and heaviness of the malt tend to keep drinkability at a minimal level.

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle, w/o freshness dating. Pours dark almond and medium hazy, typical tan head and average lacing. make sure to let this one warm up abit. the nose and fall/pumpkin flavors need some time to roll out. Medium spice in the nose and palate. I'd much rather smell and taste hops and malt in my brew, so this style ever has been one on my favorites, however, this one has some added alcohol punch and the flavors are fairly well rounded and meshed with the rest of the beer. Worth a try if youre looking for a fall themed brew. Might be decent with Thanksgiving dishes.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: minimal head, dark orange-brown in color, hazy, moderate carbonation

Smell: cinnamon, nutmeg, alcohol, and pumpkin spice

Taste: cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, bready malt, alcohol at the end

Mouthfeel: sweet a with a slightly bitter backbone, low carbonation, light bodied, smooth

Drinkability: One of the better pumpkin beers I have had this year. This one is pumpkiny without being overly so. i can feel the alcohol. I would get this again. A nice surprise.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours the expected orange color with a white head. The aroma is strong cinnamon with some pumpkin mixed in.

The flavor is heavy on the pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A very nice pumpkin ale. Well executed and easy to drink.

Photo of lostandwandering
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle.

A- Pours an amber/orange with a slight white head with a little residual lacing.

S- smells like pumpkin and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Everyhing that the beer advertises.

T- Similar to how it smells. Almost like a non-sweet pumpkin pie. None of the flavors are overpowering in any way and yet all are present. Very well balanced.

M- It's a little thicker than I anticipated, but not overly creamy. there's a decent amount of carbonation present as well.

O- Tried this one a night after I tried Southern Tier's Pumking. Weyerbacher's isn't nearly as sweet as the Pumking, but both are excellent in their own right. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of bsp77
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very cloudy lava-like reddish-orange with an internal glow. Thin head and light lacing lines.

Smell: Smells like sweet pumpkin pie with some drying spice aspects of cinnamon and nutmeg. Fantastic aroma.

Taste: Sweet malts reminiscent of an Old Ale (toffee, cherry, musty earthiness) with some rich pumpkin undertones. Spicy finish with cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and hops; still the sweetness carries through to the finish a little.

Feel: Low carbonation with a thick and chewy body. Warming and fairly smooth.

Drinkability: Overall, it seems like a nice Old Ale that has been enhanced and elevated by pumpkin and spices. The end result is a very strong Pumpkin Ale that simply entices me to drink more.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served inot a nonic glass from a 12oz brown long neck bottle with a crimped on cap.
Cloudy,medium amber/copper color with a 1" creamy, off white head that faded quickly to a slight coat of foam.

Strong spicy aromas almost like a homemade rootbeer with clove, cinnamon,nutmeg. Very nice aroma was very candy-like.

Homemade rootbeer taste,just as in the aroma with good pumpkin spice flavors,raw clove, a ginger/alcohol note,candied carmell comes through mid -taste finishes with a clean,spicy, dry bitterness

A tangy,peppery mouthfeel. A good pumpkin beer,not a harsh as i would have thought being imperial. Could drink and few of these,but not all night.

Photo of Kraken
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Thanks Kyle!

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard 16ox pint glass. Love the seasonal Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers really looking forward to this. Firm pour results in a scant head that diminishes rapidly leaving just a thin ring of foam. very light lace. Pours a very dark orange brown almost a burnt sienna.

Nose- Enchanting, as only a seasonal pumpkin can be. Clove, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and plenty of caramel notes.

Taste- A blast of cinnamon, nutmeg. Hot alcohol. Plenty of pumpkin taste without the sweetness of so many ales of this type. A sipper for sure, syrupy.

Mouthfeel- Zippy carbonation, mildly hot somewhat cloying.

Drinkability- Moderate to low. High Alcohol and cloyingness prevent consuming more then a couple.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle at cellar temp into my stella artois snifter (if you can call it that). pours a dark burnt orange amber color with a nice off white head. some sediment floating around, also slightly cloudy. pretty nice retention as well as some decent lacing

there is a wonderful aroma of pumpkin pie right of the bat. the smell is that of pumpkin/squash, spices such as cinniamin, clove, brown sugar. a little bit of alcohol noticeable.

wonderful balance between the pumpkin flavors and the spice. a lot of pumpkin ales are full of either one or the other. again, a nice taste of pumpkin pie going on. lots of pumpkin mixed with clove, cinnaimin, clove, and cardamom.

medium to low carbonation, medium body. a very nice almost creamy mouthfeel. alcohol not really noticeable at all until the very end. very drinkable for a spicy pumpkin beer. i could easily drink these all night. in my opinion, this is a great ABV for the style. also in my opinion, the best pumpkin ale ive had to date, granted this is the first one ive had in months and not one of my most favorite styles, but the similarity to pumpkin pie, is like no other. this is definately a must try for any beer drinker. also, im very impressed with this brewery and what they have to offer, all there beers are very good.

Photo of ehammond1
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

Pumpkin orange and auburn with a very thin head. Not much lacing left down the glass.

Spicy aroma: lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice, as well as some rich and sweet malt presence--like a freshly baked, delicious pumpkin bread.

The spices are dominant throughout in this beer. The cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg make up the majority of this beer's flavor. It reminds me of Big Red Cinnamon Gum, and even makes my tongue feel a similarly spicy/numb I associate with cinnamon-flavored gum. There's a touch of bread and pumpkin flavor, but it's definitely dominated by the spices.

Thin mouthfeel.

A hugely flavorful, big pumpkin ale, though the spices are the star and not at all the pumpkin.

Photo of MattyG85
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and lively amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Solid four fingers of off white head that has a light tint of orange. Pretty good retention and lacing.

Smell: Very spicy. Big aroma of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom ginger, and clove. A decent presence of pumpkin. Also some caramel and toffee malts in the background. The spice is so strong that it kind of overwhelms everything else but it smells good.

Taste: A much more balanced taste. Starts with a strong spicy presence of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and clove. Midway there is a taste of pumpkin than a big presence of bready caramel malts takes over in the finish. It starts very spicy but finishes like a Marzen.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate carbonation. Spicy, sweet, chewy, and creamy. A little heat is felt but it goes down pretty smooth.

Overall: A very good pumpkin ale. Very bold with the spices and malts. Could of had a little more actual pumpkin flavor but whats there is very good.

Photo of Mertzy81
4.59/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a 4-pack of this that a manager at my local beer stop saved for me since this little puppy was in high demand. I'm very grateful to be able to check this one out. Already pretty stoked.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber, but is considered to be pretty transparent to me. Leaves a nice inch of white head that pretty much sets a very positive tone of Autumn and a welcoming feeling.

Smell: Has a strong presence of pumpkin and the spices that go along with them. Also I sense a hint of vanilla in the aroma. Very appealing to me.

Taste: Upon first sip, I feel the heavy presence of pumpkin and cinnamon. The other sips brings a welcoming palate of nutmeg and more heavy spices that really bring this to become a delicious brew.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: Very delicious pumpkin style beer. Thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will definitely recommend this beer to a friend and will have again. I really enjoyed the overall presence of the spices and balance of flavors and it also presented a nice mash of pumpkin.

Photo of far333
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Copper colored with a beige wispy head that settles down quickly to a fine cap of froth.

Low floral aroma with notes of dryer sheets.

Muted flavor upfront, but as the beer travels it develops into sweetish vanilla malt, drying leaves, caramel and ginger, numteg rises from the finish. A little perfumey.

Full mouthfeel, even carbonation, faint warming. Average drinkability, a little too sweet and perfumey.

Photo of BadBadger
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pumpkin ale pours a nice copper color. The head was descent but did not last very long. The smell was pleasant, very nicely spiced. The taste is intially enjoyable but the spices eventually become a bit oveverwhelming. This is a rather good pumkin ale worth giving a try. Enjoy!

Photo of kpantz
4.67/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Executive Summary: My hometown brewery, Weyerbacher is one I can always count on to have something interesting in the portfolio. This is the second iteration of the Imperial Pumpkin, and this time we find it older, wiser and even tastier than its predecessor (which was pretty damn good itself). With the 2006 revision, Weyerbacher, in my honest opinion, has justified the image on its label - they are the king of pumpkin ales, hands down. My only request now is that they work on the head retention - but don't mess with the flavor!

Here's last year's review for reference:

Interestingly enough, it's nearly a year to the date I reviewed it the last time around. My only regret is not reviewing it at a time when most are drinking or considering purchasing this beer.

Appearance: Reddish amber pour from the bomber into my Weyerbacher pint glass. Moderate lacing. Head is off-white and creamy to start, but reduces to nothing. Would like at least a lacing to hang around.

Smell: It's coming at me before I even get my nose over the edge of the glass. Nutmeg and clove, with a bready malt aroma just lightly painted with pumpkin. Like last year, it's the spices, not the pumpkin that defines this one.

Taste: Malt-heavy at first, with the nutmeg, cinnamon (didn't capture this flavor last year) and cloves quickly joining the dance. This is, in my honest opinion, the best tasting pumpkin ale available. I don't see any room for improvement here.

Mouthfeel: They did it! The one thing with which I was disappointed last year was the hypercarbonation. Made the thing seem more like an alcoholic pumpkin soda, if you know what I mean. This time, they boldly beat back the brazen bubbles and have a tremendous result on the tongue.

Drinkability: Over and over and over. Not too heavy, and doesn't trapse into "novelty" territory like some other seasonal beers.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,501 ratings.